"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Had an interesting conversation with a national pastor the other day about alcohol. He had made the statement that you can not be a Christian and drink in the African culture. Wow, that is quite the statement. It caused a discussion about the fact that the bible talks about alcohol (wine) and that it was accepted. Drunkenness is a sin not drinking. According to him, it is one in the same in this culture. To a large degree he is right, if Africans drink, they tend to drink for days, at least the ones out here do. There is no such thing as moderation. Just like with many other things it is an all or nothing approach. In some ways it simplifies things if you have that philosophy but you come dangerously close to a pharisaical mentality. It is good to have standards, don’t get me wrong. But to say you can not be a Christian it a very bold statement. The question that has come to my mind is, does culture supersede Scripture or does Scripture supersede culture? In this instance they are ignoring parts of scripture because the culture can not handle that part, or at least they think they can not. And maybe they can’t and they speak from experience. I guess as a pastor you are to protect your flock but are you supposed to protect them from themselves?
Or am I way off and nothing seems odd about any of this? I know that something inside of me did not sit right when having this discussion and I am still working on coming to some conclusions. This doesn’t have to just be about alcohol, which was just the issue that came up. Are there are others where culture says no, but bible says yes you can? Of course as Paul says, not everything that is permissible is beneficial, but that wouldn’t mean you aren’t a Christian if you do it or not. Discussion anyone?

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